A beloved dog missing for 48 hours has been dramatically rescued after being found on the edge of a cliff at a popular Lanarkshire beauty spot.
Bella the red cockpaoo ran away after being spooked by another dog while walking at Chatelherault Country Park in Ferniegair, Hamilton last Wednesday afternoon.
His frantic owners Rebecca Hannan and Lloyd Swan immediately threw a search party with friends and family and issued a public call on social media for people to kindly watch their pet dog if they happen to be in the area.
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Their plea prompted dozens of offers for help, with one man even bringing in a drone to search for Bella from the air.
But as the hours turned to days and with no confirmed sightings from Bella, Rebecca and Lloyd grew increasingly worried.
So much so that Lloyd and his good friend Paul Hainie again decided to retrace Bella’s previous route through the park on Friday afternoon, in a last hope of finding her in the area. To their surprise, the couple could hear a dog barking and sounding distress in the distance and followed the noise to the edge of a cliff, 100 yards from the main trail.
And when Lloyd peered cautiously over the edge, a terrified Bella was clinging to a small ledge below.
Rebecca explained: “Lloyd and Paul couldn’t believe it when they found Bella on the ledge, having retraced this route many times over the hours since her disappearance.
“They quickly tried to rescue her themselves but realized they were risking their own lives, so called to the emergency services for help.
“Unfortunately when the fire and rescue team assessed the scene they were unable to help but called in a specialist rope access team from East Kilbride.
“There were about 10 firefighters at the scene, but it was Gary from the rope crew who came down the rock face to save Bella. Once down, he put her in a dog harness and they all The two were brought back to safety and Bella was reunited with Lloyd and then myself at the country house, where many people had gathered to see her and take pictures.”
As well as being dehydrated and a bit hungry, after a visit to the vet, the relieved couple were overjoyed to hear that Bella was in good health.
Rebecca added: “We assume Bella was on the edge of the cliff the whole time and only decided to start making noise as she was thirsty and tired!
“We would like to thank everyone who searched for Bella day and night, Fiona Halliday of the Lanarkshire Dog Trap and Sweep Team (lost dog charity), Hamilton Fire Services and the East Kilbride Rope Specialist Team.
“Special thanks to Paul Hainie who was on the scene with Lloyd when they first found Bella, and put his own life in danger to get into position to catch Bella in case she fell off the ledge.
“We can’t believe the response to Bella’s search, if another dog goes missing we’ll be the first to join the search for sure.”
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